Fish responsibly to ensure continued access at Sydney Harbour

26 Feb 2019

Fishers are reminded to fish responsibly and respect others following recent anti-social behaviour and mess left behind at Sydney's Walsh Bay.

The area is an iconic location for recreational fishers, with a long history of offering safe and convenient access for families, shift workers, people with disabilities and novice anglers, as well as being very popular with dedicated sportfishers targeting key species such as kingfish and mulloway.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is aware angling access to Piers 2 & 3 at Walsh Bay has been temporarily disrupted due to construction work and that fishers have shifted to Pier 8.

DPI Group Director Recreational & Indigenous Fisheries Peter Turnell said in recent weeks DPI has received reports that a minority of irresponsible and selfish anglers on Pier 8 are causing problems by leaving mess and behaving in an anti-social manner.

“It is important all fishers do the right thing by keeping these areas clean and tidy and showing respect and courtesy to other users, residents and workers,” Mr Turnell said.

“The vast majority of anglers are responsible and recreational fishing is a legitimate activity with significant socio-economic benefits, especially for Sydney residents and young people looking for an inexpensive and enjoyable nature-based activity.

“However DPI is working closely with the Walsh Bay Precinct managers and other government agencies to address ongoing issues on the piers and enabled an agreement guaranteeing fishing access at Piers 2 & 3 is retained once the construction work has been completed.

“Cleaning of the Piers, including at Pier 8, is continuing and Water Police patrols targeting the Walsh Bay precinct are underway 24/7.

“DPI has installed signage encouraging fishers to be responsible on Pier 8 and responsible fishing flyers have been printed in a variety of languages and will be distributed to fishers at Walsh Bay by police and DPI Fisheries officers.

“A new initiative involves DPI Fisheries staff and Fishcare volunteers organising clean-ups and responsible fishing events at the Walsh Bay piers.”

Mr Turnell said recreational fishing groups and individual anglers are also doing helping spread the message about responsible fishing.

“It has been encouraging to see recent social media posts showing motivated anglers leading the way by cleaning up after themselves and other anglers after a good day’s fishing at Walsh Bay,” Mr Turnell said.

“As a result, DPI has developed targeted responsible fishing messages to anglers using this particular facility.”

Key aspects of the DPI Walsh Bay campaign includes reminding fishers to reduce litter, keep noise at a minimum and be respectful of other users.

DPI’s tips for fishing on piers:

  • Tip 1: Don’t clean your fish or prepare your bait on Pier pylons or balustrades. Instead, do your fish cleaning and bait prep on a plastic cutting board. You can pick these up at your local supermarket for a few dollars.
  • Tip 2: During and after your fishing, make sure all your litter is stowed and disposed of. You may even want to do a quick walk around to pick up any litter that might have been left by fishers or other members of the public. Lead by example and hopefully others will realise that littering is not acceptable.
  • Tip 3: Show respect and courtesy. The Walsh Bay Piers are busy, shared facilities with many users and residents. The Piers are there for the use and enjoyment of all.
  • Tip 4: Keep noise to a minimum, especially at night when fishing at Pier 8. Remember, there are residents on Pier 6/7 and elsewhere in Walsh Bay. Enjoy your fishing but keep in mind the fact that other people might be trying to sleep. Avoid flashing torches or headlights into people’s windows.

DPI continues to work with anglers to explore options and ideas with the end goal of “future proofing” quality access and opportunities for Sydney’s large angling population.

Media contact: Lyndall Hilder (02) 6391 3686